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Road signs to be rolled out to cut air pollution

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 16, 2012

By Helen Keates

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NEW road signs in Swansea are set to help motorists do their bit to lower pollution levels.

Electronic signs have been popping up on the outskirts of the city centre and now Swansea Council has announced it is set to launch the Swansea Nowcaster air pollution monitoring system in early 2013.

The system will involve a series of signs linked to 47 traffic counters and air monitoring equipment installed in certain parts of the city.

The council has already installed three of the signs along Oystermouth Road and Quay Parade.

A further three will be installed in and around the Hafod area and have been funded from the Welsh Government's Tranquil, Greener and Cleaner Places programme.

The signage will respond to predictions of raised levels of air pollution and will aim to redirect motorists along routes away from the areas concerned.

Parts of Swansea, including Hafod, are included within the Swansea Air Quality Management Area 2010.

June Burtonshaw, cabinet member for place in Swansea Council, said: "We have been monitoring air quality in the Hafod part of the city for many years after declaring the area an air quality management area.

"The Nowcaster initiative should help us to improve local communities in areas affected by high vehicle-related pollution levels."

In October Mrs Burtonshaw said the council was planning to meet with the Welsh Government over air quality targets.

In a written response to councillors she said that the latest results showed "a continuing problem with air quality in these areas, but also identifies further areas which may need to be included within the air quality management area for Swansea".

The council declared Hafod an air quality management area in 2001 in a bid to address the problem. Subsequent areas were then designated.

Mrs Burtonshaw said: "It is clear from our latest review that compliance (with the EC targets) is unlikely in the short term and in some parts of Sketty, Fforestfach and Hafod we will not have compliance until after 2020."

She said planning guidelines suggest that developments in such areas be refused if they adversely impact on public health.

"There is no presumption against housing developments in air quality management areas, but clearly increasing the resident population in a failing area is undesirable," she said.

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  • maxmin  |  November 16 2012, 4:23PM

    Usual nonsense by council. One of the greatest causes of pollution is the constant slowing and speeding up of vehicles caused by speed bumps. A study done by the BMA several years ago showed a higher incidence of child asthma in the vicinity of these obstructions.

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  • siarad2  |  November 16 2012, 2:35PM

    "Rule 123 of the Highway Code, which says: 'If the vehicle is stationary and likely to remain so for more than a couple of minutes, you should switch off the engine to reduce emissions and oil pollution" There is a law to back this introduced 10 Years ago & devolved to Wales I think. Perhaps it'd be better if the signs said turn off your engine when stopped, maybe not being heavy handed with on-the-spot fines.

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  • godisalie  |  November 16 2012, 1:49PM

    The first and second comments posted.

    Rate   -4
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  • siarad2  |  November 16 2012, 1:43PM

    @godisalie To whom are you directing your comment, I've seen no spelling mistakes, please enlighten us.

    Rate   2
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  • godisalie  |  November 16 2012, 12:36PM

    Please learn to spell.

    Rate   -6
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  • muld00ns  |  November 16 2012, 12:15PM

    We can see the council is trying to do something pro active for a change but lets be realistic, is this going to make a difference? Very doubtfu. Will drivers take notice of these signs or even bother to read them, probably not. So the conclusion is this is a total waste of our tax payers money again. Its just another gimick for the council to justify they are there.

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  • newsaffair  |  November 16 2012, 9:49AM

    The council have a duty to protect its citizens,when there is a percieved risk. What have the residents got to do when the area gets polluted?,just reading the signs is not going to make them any healthier. When drivers read these signs,as they proceed,what are they going to do to reduce their pollution? (drive faster to get out of danger?) All areas that fail,should be subject to road closures,except for emergency services,or more traffic control, to limit the pollution. This tinkering with the subject,is not going to solve the issue,but frustrate those that have to live in those areas.

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